Our succah from last year proved so popular that we kept it up the whole year, as a sort of outdoor recreation area. Now that Succot is almost here, I began to second guess whether merely rebuilding the schach was enough to not be oveir the injunction that the building of the sukkah should not be ‘Min Ha’Asui’.
So my question: is merely taking off the rotted leaves and replacing them with fresh ones enough to make the sukkah valid?
Yes, this is sufficient.
In fact, if initially made for the purpose of a Succah, there is no problem in keeping a Succah from year to year. The disqualification of a Succah Yeshanah refers to Succah that was not made for the purpose of Succos, and not to a literally ‘old Succah.’
The disqualification of min ha-asui refers to a construction that was built for a different purpose, and which a person now wishes to use for a Succah. The solution is to raise and lower the sechah, and to replace leaves is certainly effective–but in this case, as noted, it is not even required.